Thursday, March 30, 2017

Pulling beads

I hate pulling beads. Hate it.

But this little puppy makes it easier. This is a portable vise - it suctions to a smooth surface - like the kitchen counter - a wipe of water on the suction surface helps enormously, and you can put your mandrel in the jaws and clamp it, and pull the beads without the fear of stabbing someone with the mandrel, the need for a set of vice grips to hold the mandrel - and the aching hands. And shoulders.

Here's a little video. There is a hole in the jaws that a mandrel fits in, but the 3/16s mandrels are a little small - so clamping those in the jaws directly works better - but the video will give you the idea.

Honestly - I have no idea how people are making all these one-handed shot-with-their-phone how-to videos. I find the interface for using the camera on the phone to be hard enough to use with two hands - one is freakin' impossible. As soon as I grab the phone - I inadvertently touch some part of the screen that triggers some action that is not what I want. Argh.

Anyway - you'll get the point.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

CiM 123 Hemoglobin

 Another new red from CiM - a lovely Siam Ruby red that - when I got this - still didn't have a name. Since then - it has been named Hemoglobin, and it is closely related to Sangre. Some folks think it could pass for Sangre, and other say no.

Given my last experience with a red that needed a lot of heat - I made a point of using this with a lot of heat and without to see if it made a difference. 

I didn't see a lot of difference in the colour as a result of that, but I did see a lot of difference in the opacity as a result.

 The unworked rod is very dense - looking almost opaque.

It's a bright, intense red - strikes effortlessly (just a little orange/wash out at the edges) and displays no livering (brown overtone). 

 For this piece, I started with a blob melted clear hot - that's the bulb at the base, at the wire. You can see that this is quite nicely transparent, with a trail of cloudy opacity - where, as a wound off the glass, I transitioned from the clear hot to the not quite so hot that was on the rod.

You can see, above and even more dramatically in this one below, an opaque shadow in each subsequent "layer" - that's not just a shadow or the lighting - it really does look like that. The hotter the glass got - the more transparent it came out of the kiln.

A lovely vibrant red  - if you want it clear - heat the snot out of it, and if you want clouds - be cooler.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Comparison: CiM Greens

Pantone declared "Greenery" to be the colour of the year, and CiM has answered that call with a palette of greens from accessible to sophisticated, from happy to complex, from juicy to brooding.

Here you go - side by side, the 2017 spring CiM greens.

From left to right:

CiM 454 Refresh; CiM 456 Eel Grass; CiM 451 Inchworm; CiM 450 Chartreuse; CiM 452 Peat Moss.

Like I said before about Peat Moss - next to the greens - it looks brown, but by itself, you would call it a green. Or, I would. ;-)

Friday, March 24, 2017

CiM 454 Refresh

Another pretty, transparent green. I'm thinking that this one will make it's way into the colour palettes of those who make all those lovely little matched sets of flowered and dotted beads that are so popular - that I can't make if you put a gun to my head.

This one is easy to like - would probably look great over silver foil!It's light enough that you could use it for encasing or a different take on the aquarium bead.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

CiM 549 Sea Mist

CiM Sea Mist - a translucent grey that evokes fog and rain and mist.

It starts as a translucent blue, but comes out of the kiln rather more neutral

 In fact, it seems to be doing a bit of a colour shift in the camera - it is more of a foggy grey than what I am seeing on the monitor - which looks a bit yellowed.
In fact - this is closer to what I am seeing - but gok what your monitor/screen/cell phone will render it as.

I do have to say that the limited amount that I have tried had some significant shocking going on. Not the kind of continuous blowing off the tip and turning into frit shocking that makes me just toss a rod as being unworkable, but when it shocked - it shocked big time - blowing a big shard off the side or cracking off a couple of inches. Might have just been what I had, might be the nature of the beast - but just so you know.

I am really quite taken with this colour - regardless of that. But I have a soft squishy spot for the translucent colours.

Monday, March 20, 2017

CiM 452 Peat Moss

I am weirdly excited by this colour - it is a yellowy-browny-green. Maybe it is the hard-to-classify colours that appeal to me - they are more complex, harder to categorized and stretch the perception a little bit.

Like the CiM Eel Grass, CiM Peat Moss was also inclined to form lots of small bubbles.

When you put this next to the bright greens, it looks brown, but on it's own, you would just classify it as a green in the olive family.

I like this one - I can definitely see using this!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

CiM 514 Cornsilk

CiM Cornsilk is a translucent yellow that is, well - the colour of corn silk.

It has an ethereal quality, and is light enough to need some contrast to show well.

Compare the white background to the black background below. 

It goes deep yellow when heated, giving you the initial impression that it might strike, but cools right back to the original rod colour.

Better on black. JMHO.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

CiM 451 Inchworm

If you though CiM's new Chartreuse was juicy (and it is) - then Inchworm is a close second.

Less yellow, but a very bright, green - translucent - not quite a totally transparent colour.

Another wonderfully springy green.

Comparison: Inchworm on the left, Chartreuse on the right.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

CiM 456 Eel Grass

CiM Eel Grass - a pretty, transparent, muted green. I really like the colour. I do have to say though - that it really wanted to form tiny little bubbles. I found that working it in a softer, slightly bushy flame helped, but if you are looking for a flawless encasing colour - this one will make you a little crazy.

See the bubbles in the edges? It got better with subsequent pieces as I softened up the flame, but just something to be aware of.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

CiM 551 Prussian Blue

CiM Prussian Blue is an opaque, dark steel blue. When it is hot - it goes blue and green, and looks very much like Class M Planet.

Once out of the kiln though - the colours are more of a blue and a steel grey, darker than Class M Planet. Interestingly, the final brush with the flame across the glass brings up a colour that is more like a periwinkle, before it goes in the kiln - but there is no sign of that after it comes out. That actually seems to be where the bulk of the steel grey is after - so some experimenting with heating would be in order, I think.

Interesting. Not sure what to do with it yet. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Effetre 248 Light Grey

And now, apparently I'm doing opaque greys. What is the world coming to?

Effetre 248 Light Grey is a warm grey with a hit of brown - a tendency to develop streaky brown bits.

I don't know if you can eliminate this by turning up the oxygen - as it almost looks a little sooty there too. 

 For comparison: from the left, Eff 268 Pearl Grey, Eff 248 Light Grey, and Vetro 250 Medium Warm Grey. Quite a wide range!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

I am not alone: Bits on Wire / Headpins

I've been making these lampwork things on wire for a while now - and been feeling a bit like a voice in the wilderness. I mean, I'm not making beads here. There's a possibility that the bead police will show up and revoke my torch.

Except - while cruising pinterest looking for something else - I found lots of others making headpins in leaves and flowers and even vintage Czech stuff.

So that's cool. I am not alone after all.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Vetro 250 Medium Opaque Warm Grey

An old batch of Vetro grey. You can see that the rods are quite variable, and the end result is a little streaky.


Just for comparison, here they are next to the last post's Eff Pearl Grey. Worlds apart. Again - how can one word describe both of these?

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Effetre 268 Pearl Grey

What, more grey? She-who-hates-grey is doing more grey? What is the world coming to?

Effetre Pearl Grey is a very neutral, pure grey, but quite light in saturation. And when you put it on a black back ground - it looks even lighter! 

Saturday, March 04, 2017

More Triton - eye candy

Again - done at the studio at BeadFX. Really wish I got these results at home.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Comparison: CiM 904 Gelly's Sty vs ... Effetre 380 Dark Pink Alabastro?

The pink that put Creation is Messy on the map. Still a great colour. Gelly's Sty.

Now this - I THINK, is Dark Pink Alabastro. It's either an alabatro or an opalino, and given that it is even boil-ier than usual - I'm thinking the alabastro.

 Funny how all those organic characteristics like the boiling and developing odd colours bugged me when I made beads, and now that I make ... whatever these are - I just accept the idiosyncrasies.

Gelly's Sty on the left, Dark Pink Alabastro on the right. Both pink. Both nothing alike. One word to describe both colours just seems inadequate. 

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Bullseye 2050 Salmon Opal

I picked up a pound or two of this dirt cheap ages ago, as it had been dropped and broken into little pieces about 4 inches long. But apparently pink is what I need right now - so I dragged it out.

It's a funny glass - almost shaded - a bunch of rods together look almost like venetian blinds. (Roll them, and the blinds close!) There is a strip of colour along one side, and the end result is stripey - almost like filigrana, but with a blur.

Pretty, isn't it?